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TheStreet Open House

Best Micro-Cap Funds Pay Off Big-Time

Stock quotes in this article: IDT, GSL, CCME, QCOR, BIOS, SGU

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Catalyst Value Fund (CTVAX), $73 million in assets, a return of 16.3% this year and a 14% three-year annualized return, a performance that earned it a five-star rating (the highest) from Morningstar.

The fund throws out a big net in searching for prospects, and, as a result, has some particularly small stocks in its portfolio. Its top five holdings are: IDT (IDT) , 9.6%; Global Ship Lease (GSL), 8%; EBIX (EBIX), 7.7%, GSI, 7.3%; and China MediaExpress (CCME), 6%.

Global Ship Lease (GSL), 8% of the fund; price: $4.94; up 244% this year; market cap: $272 million. Global Ship Lease is a container-ship-leasing company that buys vessels and charters them to container-shipping companies. Revenue for the nine months ended Sept. 30 was $118.8 million, up 9% from a year earlier, but it posted a net loss of $5.2 million, or 10 cents a share. Catalyst Value owns 3% of the company's outstanding shares.

Reading International (RDI), 5.8% of fund; price: $4.97; up 23% this year; market cap: $116 million.

The company owns and manages commercial real estate and agricultural properties, in particular a number of theaters that provide live entertainment. It has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 16.4. For the nine months through Sept. 30, it reported a net loss of $12.1 million, which includes a tax settlement charge of that amount.

Cinedigm Digital Cinema (CIDM), 1.3% of the fund; price: $1.47; up 20% this year; market cap: $46 million.

The company's technology enables movie theaters and others to transfer film to digital-film formats. It has a technology used to deliver digital movies and other content via satellite or fiber-optic cable. In the first half of its fiscal year through Sept. 30, it reported revenue of $38.2 million, a 13% increase from a year earlier, and a loss of $18 million, or 60 cents a share.

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